I’m sure many readers of Silent Voices have experienced for themselves a paranormal investigation, either privately or with one of the many event companies that run investigative experiences throughout the country. I’ve had the good fortune to have visited many supposedly haunted places all over the UK and had a few experiences that I could, at a push, say are unexplained!
I find it flattering that people kindly send me their photos of alleged phenomena and as I look at a variety of digital imagery (oh look, more orbs!) all I can do is offer an opinion as to what they might be? On investigations as well I’m frequently asked about things such as light anomalies caught on camera and the conversations usually go something like this:
‘Can you see it?’ I am asked with eager enthusiasm.
‘See what?’ I politely reply.
‘The face in the orb?’
‘Look closer…’ I am told rather excitingly. ‘Now do you see it?’
The camera zooms in for a close up and blurred view of the offending anomaly.
‘Look, its there…I can’t believe you can’t see it, looks like a woman’s face?’
‘I can’t see anything I’m afraid’ I say apologetically ‘it’s hard to see anything on a view screen that small but hang on - I think I can make out a fire engine and a small dog!’
OK I wouldn’t say that last bit. Proberly. But the photographer will promptly leave me to accost someone else with the image viewed from a screen the size of a credit card! To quote the writer and social commentator Christopher Hitchens ‘we are pattern seeking mammals’ and maybe that’s the error our primate species makes? Is it a natural human instinct to join the dots up? There are folk of course who will be convinced something is paranormal without any critical analysis to back up their claim even if some natural evidence is glaringly obvious – ‘excuse me while I just shut that very draughty window, sorry, you were telling me about a cold spot?’
But we are all susceptible to occasional misinterpretation of phenomena and I am just as guilty as anyone. Whilst investigating a haunted bedroom at The Red Lion Hotel in Colchester, I actually thought I saw a ghost. Honest folks. The team were all in the adjoining bathroom, in the dark, gathered together after hearing a loud constant ‘thumping’ noise from this area. I was suddenly stunned to observe a transparent figure looking straight at me wearing the most puzzled expression.
Did I just see a ghost? Afraid not. It was this very columnist’s own reflection staring back from a glass panel by the bath! We spent the next ten minutes laughing our little spooky socks off!
But you’ll have to excuse me now as someone has just come up to me wanting a second opinion on another image they’ve just captured on camera:
‘Can you see it?’ I’ve been asked again with still eager enthusiasm.
‘See what?’ I’ve replied.
‘The face in the mist?’
‘No I can’t’ I say ‘but I think I can make out……oh never mind!!!’